We received our 5th flock of turkeys this morning. My husband is a 3rd generation turkey grower, and proud of it. We put up five buildings and began raising turkeys last summer.
The truck came around 8:00 this morning. Adam and I showed up around 8:45, just as they were finishing up.
Just over 20,000 birds were unloaded in less than an hour. My husband worked with his father, sister, my brother, a neighbor kid, and his cousin to unload. While they did the hard work, Adam and I took pictures. :)
This is Bart’s cousin, Carter. He lives in South Dakota, and is here visiting for Easter. We are trying to convince him to come to Iowa State and work on the farm when he is older. He wasn’t so fond of that idea. He says this is hard work, harder than basketball or football practice. Gotta give the kid some credit, though. He was out here working while his three brothers (1 older, 2 younger) were at Grandma and Grandpa’s sleeping. See how the poults all crowded up to see the boys? Silly turkeys.
We could NOT get Adam to look at the camera. He was way too concerned about the skid loader. “Tuh-tuh, tuh-tuh.”
The turkeys come in the crates that are stacked in the Bobcat’s bucket – 100 per crate.
For the first two weeks or so, they live in these “rings.” This keeps them close to the heaters, and keeps them from piling on each other as much. Over the next few days,
we Bart will gradually make the rings bigger until the turkeys have run of the whole building.
Morning chores in this building will take several hours. Each of the red feed pans has to be filled by hand, and the little, round, red waterers must be dumped by hand.
We Bart will gradually take these out until the turkeys just use the regular feeders (green and red) and waterers (green and white.) And, Bart has two other flocks right now. Usually we have two flocks at a time, not three. And usually we have a woman who helps with the baby turkeys. But unfortunately, she’s got shingles and isn’t able to help this time. The oldest flock goes to market this week, which will help, but that means two LATE nights of loading turkeys for Bart.
My husband is an amazingly hard worker – 7 days a week, at LEAST 12 hours a day. And this is why. It is hard on Adam and I, sometimes, so we try to help out when we can, and spend time as a family that way. We hope that this hard work will pay off soon – our goal is to eliminate enough of our farm debt that we can hire more help, but that is not something that happens overnight! In the meantime, eat as much turkey as possible to help us out, please!?!?